UK film making duo Mary McGuckian and John Lynch are applying for a court injunction to prevent satellite broadcaster BSkyB from carrying the film Best on one of its movie channels.

Best, starring Lynch as Irish footballing hero George Best, is due to air on satellite before it has secured a theatrical release. McGuckian co-wrote and directed the project with husband Lynch who takes a writing and production credit on the title.

BSkyB's film production arm Sky Pictures is one of the investors and takes a production credit on the film. The title was one of the first to be greenlit under Sky Pictures' entry into the UK production arena almost two years ago.

The cast and crew have signed a petition which reads: "It was never our understanding that we were collaborating on a television film solely for Sky Pictures broadcast or that it would not be afforded a theatrical release at the cinemas. As practitioners in the British Film Industry, we do not condone the Sky Pictures policy of frustrating the traditional theatrical release pattern that supports our industry."

Sky Pictures general manager William Turner issued the following statement in response: "Sky Pictures regrets that Mary McGuckian and John Lynch have chosen to air their grievances over this film in public at a time when we are still striving to find a theatrical release for Best, and only 24 hours before all the issues are due to be heard in court."

Sky Pictures signed a theatrical distribution deal with Twentieth Century Fox, a subsidiary of BSkyB shareholder News Corp, last October. Under the terms of the deal, Fox will take selected pictures from the Sky Pictures slate for theatrical distribution.